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Taiwan moves to 4th in baseball rankings

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's baseball ranking moved up one position to No. 4 in the world following its performance in the recently concluded 2013 World Baseball Classic (WBC), the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) said Thursday.

Taiwan's national baseball team, playing under the name of Chinese Taipei, moved up one notch from its previous fifth position in the IBAF's latest Men's Baseball World Rankings due to the team's qualification to the second round of the championship, the IBAF said.

Chinese Taipei was also leading all teams in ranking points for 2012, it added.

Cuba, USA and Japan maintained their top three rankings, it noted.

Meanwhile, Taiwan's archrival Korea suffered the biggest drop in the latest IBAF ranking, losing 184.98 points due to their ninth-place finish at the 2013 WBC. In 2012, it held the world No. 4 ranking.

In 2009, Korea reached the WBC championship game, which they had lost to Japan.

New WBC and IBAF World Champion, the Dominican Republic, made the biggest leap, going from 13 to 7. The Dominican Republic has not been in the top 10 of the year-end rankings since the team was included in rankings in 2008.

Semifinalist the Netherlands climbed from 7 to 5, their best position in the Men's Baseball Rankings since their year-end 5th position in 2011, the IBAF said.

Taiwan beat the Netherlands and Australia at the WBC first-round matches held in Taichung earlier this month to help clinch a spot in the second-round games held in Tokyo.

It was the first time Chinese Taipei advanced to the Final 8 in the tournament's history. Taiwan only had one win in the previous two championships in 2006 and 2009.

After the International Olympic Committee voted in 2005 to remove the sport from the Olympic program following the 2008 Beijing Games, the WBC, an international baseball tournament sanctioned by the IBAF and created by Major League Baseball, became the highest-level international baseball competition.

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